The village of Melle in Deux-Sèvres is fortunate to have three Romanesque churches. Their construction took place between the end of the 11th century and the middle of the 12th century. This offers in a single place the ability to understand architectural evolution over this time.
The greatest of the three churches architecturally is acknowledged to be Saint Hilaire, whose picture is shown here. The other two are Saint Pierre and Saint Savinien.
Saint Hilaire is named for the first bishop of Poitiers, who died in 367. This church is the largest of the three and is also the only one still being used as a place of worship.
It was built in two stages: about 1090, and 1150. Its complex plan is designed in order to facilitate the frequent visit of the pilgrims on the road to Santiago di Compostella. A single nave with collateral leads to a transept bordered with absidioles, then to a choir with déambulatoire and radiating chapels. The site is skirted by banks of Béronne formerly crossed at this point using a ford.
The carved decoration is abundant. There are 282 Romanesque capitals representing musicians and monsters (Sagittarius, centaur, basil, dragons), and the hunting for wild boar. The southern gate is carved inside, whilst outside it depicts the saints of the Bible and the Fathers of the Church. The northern gate is surmounted by a rider in high relief, which is believed to symbolize the victory of Constantine I over the pagans.
The Saint-Hilaire church has been classified a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998.
Most of the above was freely translated from the French Wikipedia article on Melle.
This picture is vertical stitch of two photographs; necessary in order to be able to adequately show the east and north façades of the church.
Critiques | Translate
mikolaj_kawa (0) 2007-09-02 1:16
Hello Stephen! Nice colors. Nice picture.
robertosalguero (288) 2007-09-02 1:19
The church look big from this angle. The soft colours and light are very good in the image. Good sharpness and interesting perspective to include the planters on the foreground. The church architecture is excellent. Thanks Stephen.
Valerka (8171) 2007-09-02 1:23
Nice church, very interesting details.I like its lower ondulated part.
It's been a bright day, no doubts.
Well, I wish you a lot more shots and as usual as charming as the majority of yours.
dareco (17134) 2007-09-02 1:27
A fabulous old church. Very interesting comment as well. I love the old old buildings in Europe, something we don't get to see in my little corner of the world. FASCINATING!!! TFS
Nicou (149660) 2007-09-02 1:57
Mangifique cette églis,e les couleurs pastel sont douces et agréable, et le cadrage parfait, une vraie réussite.
Bravo et belle journée
robjol (2399) 2007-09-02 2:04
Lovely shot of this old church.The slate design on the lower parts remind myeslf of sea shells that we see on the beach, rather like a oriental fan.
You did good work on the stitch of the two photographs.
Have nice Sunday.
Rain today here.
Gustaw (21670) 2007-09-02 3:03
Hi, my friend!
Very interesting architecture of old churche. Good composition and nice colours. I very like old historical buildings. Beautiful tower. Well done.
isade1975 (3372) 2007-09-02 3:11
A beautiful church here, nice perspective and I like the repetition of little round roofs, thank you for sharing,
ChrisJ (117201) 2007-09-02 3:37
Nice gtaphism of the old church against the lighter blue sky, with excellent sharpness & pov. Tfs!
jonathan_hart (21276) 2007-09-02 5:05
nice church well captured, good POV
you managed well the backlight
have a nice sunday
asajernigan (21427) 2007-09-02 5:28
You chose a nice angle for this shot showing us the depth and size of the church. The lighting and colors are great with good sharpness and detail. You framed the church nicely with the tress giving the shot nice balance.
evanrizo (456) 2007-09-02 5:30
Hi Stephen, a great interesting church from a very good point.
Very good cropped and light balance.
PixelTerror (0) 2007-09-02 5:41
The building is nice and the angle okay, but you could have done some effort in the presentation, the vertical on the left could be fixed to avoid the impression it's leaning to the right, the captor dust spots to the right and left of the tower could be easily removd and you could work a bit on the colors to reduce this harsh summer light impression, I tried to fix these points in the attached WS, with limited success working on this small version but it gives an idea.
Oh, and Melle is actually better known for its deputy Segolene Royal thank its church no matter how nice, thanks for bringing some balance there ;-)
Have a nice sunday, JY
UnTrained (0) 2007-09-02 6:22
I do not know how you did that, but this view on the church creates in me the impression that the church is coming into my direction like a ship. Very interesting impression, well done. The architecture is well caught in that difficult light.
Lieben Gruss, Ulf
maltese (22901) 2007-09-02 9:02
Je la connais pour être passer assez souvent à proximité, il y a une vingtaine d'année. Elle est vraiment superbe et ut luirend bien honneur dans une bonne composition!!
Fis2 (105036) 2007-09-02 11:14
Wonderful church, curious architecture. I like the composition and colors. Technically ;-). WS (JY) is good.
jlbrthnn (76039) 2007-09-02 15:23
Félicitations pour cette excellent image de Saint-Hilaire. Je connais bien les église de Melle, dont j'ai d'ailleurs quelque images. Elles méritent vraiment le détour. Bon travail.
gunbud (34066) 2007-09-02 18:29
Beautiful capture of this wonderful old church that is seen in clear colors and excellent details. It stands out well against the contrasting pale blue summer sky.
amaryllis (37039) 2007-09-02 22:48
très belle église assez importante avec une belle architecture romane comme beaucoup dans cette region comme en Touraine,
Moi aussi, j'aurai contrasté un peu plus comme Pixel (vu le ws qui est bien rélisé)
papagolf21 (107921) 2007-09-03 0:38
Bonjour, mon ami Stephen,
Magnifique joyau architectural offert à travers cette prise de vue. Excellente idée d'avoir privilégié (pour le moment) la façade postérieure avec ses chevets et chapelles rayonnantes, ses absidioles.
La beauté est manifeste.
Un grand merci, Stephen, pour ce partage.
Budapestman (82620) 2007-09-03 3:24
Beautiful architecture shot, the composition is very attractive. I like the fine details and the splendid lights, excellent work. Have a nice week
Gerrit (52283) 2007-09-03 4:15
what a fantastic little church and indeed what a complex apsis for such a small church.
The row of buxes in their wooden holders proviode a funny contrast.
chrisnet (23062) 2007-09-03 13:12
This church is very nice but I can see a tilt to the right and it's a pity you have cut a part of the foreground, this presentation is not at the top, I'am sorry.
Cricri (124756) 2007-09-03 13:31
Magnifique l'architecture, les détails de cette grande église, bien présenter sous des couleurs tendres, compliment
Muse (34962) 2007-09-04 1:03
Une très jolie architecture et un environnement tranquille, le tout sous un joli ciel bleu.
Le cadrage est tout bon.
Tort (2266) 2007-09-04 6:10
Une belle vue de cette anciènne eglise bien cadré et une note intéressante.